Thursday, April 16, 2009

SOARing to Better Access

In addition to providing direct assistance to individuals and families in need for things like rent, utilities, & medical prescriptions, we also strive to increase access to other services that may be useful. We realize that our emergency assistance is a safety net for people in crisis and only the beginning of a journey back to stabilization. Individuals need information about many different topics including job training, childcare, substance abuse treatment, etc. 

We at the Southwest Florida Outreach Ministry continue to broaden the scope of our services for community members. House of Hope Director, Ted Stringer, will be taking SOAR Training to further this mission. SOAR Training stands for SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, & Recovery. SOAR is training to provide technical assistance and training to increase access to Social Security disability benefits for people who are homeless. SSI/SSDI benefits can increase a person's access to housing, treatment, and other supports. The application process is complicated, detailed, & can be difficult to navigate so having a helpful hand with completing the paperwork can be invaluable to actually qualifying for benefits.

SOAR training will allow us to help individuals determine their eligibility for disability benefits right at our outreach center when a person walks through our door instead of trying to send people to other destinations. This is especially important with clients dealing with homelessness who often face difficult barriers such as lack of transportation, mental health issues and more.

SOAR will help us provide more help to some of our neediest clients. Remember we are located at 3309 South Broadway in Fort Myers, Florida. Our operating hours are Monday-Saturday 9am-12noon. Call our office for more information.

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